Broiler sales in 2020 turned out to be far from farmers’ expectations. Ask any farmer around you if you are not aware already. The predictions around the last quarter were full of hope but the event didn’t happen as farmers hoped. And as a farmer and entrepreneur, our ability to learn from these experiences help shape us into a better businessperson. Below are some of the lessons I learned from the December broiler sales
Your Selling Price Depends Largely on Market Average
This part really wants to make me cry. You see, at the time when chicken feed price was skyrocketing, farmers had hope that they would be able to sell their stock for a high price – at least high enough to pay for the cost of production and still make them smile to the bank. But did it happen as planned? *ell No! Chickens that farmers thought would sell for as high as N5000 – N7000 were selling for only N3,000 – N4,000. It became difficult for many to break even, especially farmers that had to battle with unexpected mortalities.
Broiler Sales Price Vary Significantly Across States
It will amaze you to hear that some farmers were able to sell their broilers for as high as N7500. Yes! As a poultry consultant, I had clients who reported bounty harvest in specific locations. A man called me from the FCT, and told me about how he kept on feeding his broilers well even when others stopped because of the feed price. He had hope that people will love his birds and pay whatever price he places on them. Luckily, that was what happened. His selling price ranged from N6,500 to N7,500 in December 2020.
Well, I think this Mr. was able to achieve his goal because he only had around 300 mature broilers to sell. It would be more difficult to market those big birds if they were in thousands.
Economic Crisis will Affect Broiler Sales Negatively
You might lock yourself up in one remote area, getting busy with raising chicks without concerns for what is happening around you. But trust me, when you are about to sell your chickens, the economic situation will stare you in the face. I hope you don’t wait till such a time before you open up to the reality around you. The year 2020 was a tough one for everyone. The coronavirus pandemic, EndSARS protest, and the Lock Down. All these events drained a lot of people and they couldn’t wait to be buoyant again. At the closing of the year, affording a chicken became an unusual luxury for many.
Consider Market and Broiler Sales Before You Stock
This should never be turned the other way round. It has to be market before stocking. As a farmer, you should be out to meet a need or solve a problem. Investigate the gap in demand and supply and try to fill it. Don’t go and get a loan to raise 10,000 broiler when you only have market for 500.
As a rule of thumb for broiler sales, even if you have so much money to invest, you need to start small, and grow your customer base gradually. Never expand beyond what the market is asking for. If you do so, you will be desperate to get your chickens out of the farm. This means that you will be willing to sell for any price just to ensure that you don’t buy any additional feed.
You Either Maximize Profit or Minimize Loss
I am holding a smile on my face as I write this part.
At the start of each batch, you are in to maximize profit. But you must be flexible enough to move with the market trend as fast as possible to minimize your losses. Let me go further on this. If your projected selling price is far above the available market average, be smart enough to sell off, because the earlier you sell, the lower the losses. Don’t get greedy, friend!
It’s Okay to Scale Down in Terrible Times
Before you start any batch, consider the market trend, the prices of supplies, and other factors that will affect your profit margin. If you notice that the risk is too high, it’s okay to not raise as much chickens as you would normally raise per batch. Learn to scale down to minimize risk when the reason looks too scary. It’s not a do or die affair.
Sometimes, it could be the other way. You might need to increase your stock to be able to sell at a lower price that will compel buyers. But you need to look at this critically because broiler sales can be tricky.
Take the Life, Save the Chicken
Oh yeah. Don’t joke with this last one. Never!
Chickens that are ready for sale will continue to eat if buyers don’t come. This puts undue financial stress on the farmer. And if broiler sales is so poor in the end, you might not be able to recover the money spent on extra feeding.
What’s the solution?
Get a defeathering machine and process the chickens. That way, you are even open to a broader market and you don’t have to feed your chickens again. All you need is freezer to keep the processed chickens chilling.
Remember that if you don’t slaughter your birds and at the same time you stop feeding them well, they will begin to lose weight and that is your profit sloping down towards zero and minus x.
If you have read this far, I am certain that you have gained something. Please feel free to share you thoughts in the comment section below.